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Blankenhorn and Rauch’s affirmation of the foundational significance of the institution of marriage in providing a strong and stable society surprised me. The election is now behind us, but during the campaign seasonI heard many arguments encouraging voters to “Vote No”. However, it seemed that the primary message was that gay couples wanted more rights and wanted to be treated equally. This did not make sense to me because I thought they really had achieved “rights”. During this discussion, Rauch made clear his commitment to the institution and did not really focus on rights at all.
Krista mentioned a civilizational shift and Blankenhorn agreed that the consensus of Americans has shifted with young people and elites favoring the “equal dignity of homosexual love,” and I don’t really think anyone questions that. However, the question for many Americans is whether the civilizational shift includes a moral shift that moves us closer toward an amoral society where relative values decide the right of an issue. I deeply question whether altering the definition of an historical institution that by everyone’s agreement provides stability to societies, especially for an admittedly small group of people is prudent. One website I reviewed estimated the gay population around 1.7% of the population. (Washington Times) Are we as Americans ready to restructure the definition of a marriage and entire family units to satisfy 1.7% of the population? Are we willing to usher in a civilizational shift for such a small group? And if this consensus is in motion and the tide has turned toward the societal recognition of gay marriages will the institution of marriage be “shored up” or will marriages and family units continue to disintegrate because of other societal pressures and ills or in the end will the number affected be so miniscule that there will be no discernible difference?
I have no doubt that this change will usher in a more progressive society but will the future of marriage be better, stronger as a result?